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How To Get A Really ‘Green’ Christmas Tree: Rent One

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Roots for Christmas

“Roots for Christmas,” a Chicago company, offers potted Christmas trees that Chicago residents can rent for the holidays to avoid cutting down a tree for Christmas. (Credit: Rootsforchicago.com)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — We rent movies, cars and apartments, so why not Christmas trees? As CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, a Chicago company is now offering this eco-friendly option.

Modeled after similar programs in Los Angeles and Portland, “Roots for Christmas” offers a new option for the environmentally conscious: a living Christmas tree up to six feet tall.

“You see all these chopped-down Christmas trees all in the alley, you know? I mean, they’re cluttering up the landfills,” said Chad Bliss, with Roots for Christmas. “It’s costing the taxpayers a lot of money, actually, to fill up the landfills with all these cut down Christmas trees.”

If you buy a living tree at rootsforchistmas.com, you can think of your potted tree as a rental that will be replanted in a Chicago neighborhood after Christmas.

“You’re able to participate in something that is greener, that is raising awareness about the environment,” said John Piercy, founder of Neighbor Capital. “There’s something unique about living plants and trees in your home.”

Roots for Christmas is still waiting for its first shipment of trees from Michigan, but you can order them now.

Delivery and pick up are free, but the trees need to be replanted within about 18 days. And that provides a green job for some of the city’s urban gardeners.

It’s not the cheapest approach at $100 for a living tree, but it’s something you can feel good about.

But, if you’re looking to save money, you can buy a real Christmas tree the old-fashioned way and you might be in for a pleasant surprise.

Shoppers will find trees are about the same price this year, if not lower, than last year, according to Regus Chefas, owner of Gethsemane.

“This year’s supply is very good. Lots of good trees on the market,” Chefas said.

Firs start at $29.95 for a six-foot value tree and go up to $80 or $90.

To make sure yours lasts through the holiday, try the needle test.

“Just grab onto the branches, on the needles, and pull on them and see if the needles will come off,” Chefas said.

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